Why Popcorn is Evil

If there's one thing I hate about going to the cinema, it's popcorn.....popcorn and people talking. Wait, if there's two things I hate about going to the cinema, it's popcorn and people talking...and people arriving late. If there's three things I hate about going to the cinema, it's popcorn and people talking and people arriving late....and mobile phones not being turned off. If there's four things I hate .....no ......amongst the things I hate are such things as popcorn.....feck it.....I'll come in again.

Popcorn. Run away!
I hate popcorn. It smells, it sticks in your teeth, the bits that don't puff up break your teeth when you bite on them, it drops in your lap, people drop it on you, people stick their penis into the popcorn box.....the list goes on and on. Astonishingly, popcorn is the most marked up substance in the world. Not gold. Not diamonds. Not oil. Popcorn. The profit margin on popcorn is almost 100%. 'Surely you can't be serious', you say. Well, I am serious. (And don't call me Shirley). Have you ever seen the size of a popcorn kernel, compared to the size of the popcorn you eat? Know what causes the difference? Air. That's mostly air you're eating. Air surrounded by heated corn. And you pay through the nose for it. In fact, the first popcorn vendor in the US in the 1920s, Pat Siske, was so astonished at the lucrative potential of the product, he immediately stole all the corn in America and hid it in his attic, just as investors were starting to buy into it. It is a little-known fact that the ensuing financial chaos caused by the missing corn is now considered the primary cause of the Wall Street Crash in 1929, leading to the Great Depression. Ironically, cinema audiences swelled immensely during the Depression, audiences to which Siske gleefully sold his popped stolen corn, thus cementing forever the link between popcorn and cinema-going in people's minds.

Nowadays, a kernel of corn costs on average 0.00000000000001p. A large bucket of popcorn at the cinema costs anything from £5.99 to £10.99 and contains on average 2,000 popped corns, 50% of which invariably ends up on the cinema floor, whereupon staff sweep it up and resell it at the next showing. You do the maths. It is so cheap and disposable that some shipping companies actually use it as packing material because it's more cost-effective than polystyrene. Only difference is that polystyrene tastes better.

"I can't believe it's
not polystyrene"
'Hold on,' you protest, 'popcorn does taste good!' Does it? Does it really? Why do you think they put sugar and butter and salt on it? Because it tastes of nothing, that's why. You might as well bring a bag of Demerara and a lump of Golden Cow with you and chow down on that. I once read about a blindfolded taste-test that was carried out somewhere by someone, which demonstrated that 97 out of 100 people surveyed could not tell the difference between salted popcorn and salted polystyrene. The other 3 had no mouths and were forced to take the samples anally. They could tell the difference because the polystyrene was not immediately ejected.
'Hold on!' you shout again, 'Corn has obvious nutritional value!' You think so? Ever eaten sweetcorn? And then regarded the toilet bowl the next day as a yellow-studded log bobs about in it like some kind of polka-dot submarine? That tells you corn is not made for human digestion. It doesn't matter if it's heated, slathered in butter, or salt, or sugar, the human gut sneers at the feeble disguise, carefully strips the the fatty, salty, sugar from the befuddled corn and then points it in the direction of the arse. This has led to some people claiming it's high in fibre, making you regular. You're only regular because the body can't wait to get rid of it. That's basic nutritional biology, right there.

So, I imagine some of you reading this are thinking, 'I don't mind all that, I actually quite like a bit of popcorn when I watch a film'. But you don't. You might think you do, but you don't. Otherwise you would buy it when you weren't going to the cinema. But you don't. You don't see people down the supermarket loading up the trolley with popcorn. Sweets? Yes. Nachos? Yes. But popcorn? No. On the occasions you do buy it, it's because you're planning to watch a film at home and you want to recreate the experience of the cinema in the comfort of your own house. Why not get strangers to come round and sit behind the sofa kicking it and talking all the way through the film while you're at it?

Relativity, I understand.
Popcorn in cinemas, though?
Madness.

And then there's the noise. It is an enigma that has puzzled and stumped the most brilliant minds of the last century. Why, oh, why do cinemas insist on providing the noisiest food on this planet for eating in a place which relies upon listening carefully to know what's going on in the show? Sure, they have to make money somehow, but why noisy food? If they absolutely have to provide food for the hungry masses, instead of rattling popcorn round in a tub, couldn't they provide quiet food? Jelly on a bed of cotton wool? Marshmallows in velvet bags? Jelly and marshmallows would be cheap and people would eat them too. You're sitting there thinking, 'No way, I hate jelly and marshmallows', but I guarantee you would eat it. Why? Because it would be there. After all, you hate popcorn and you still eat it when you go to the pictures.



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